Elevator Speech

Do you have an Elevator Speech?


I see many of you scratching your head and saying “What the heck is an Elevator Speech? How can I answer when I don’t even know what it is?”


Picture entering an elevator and the person in the elevator with you asks you: “What do you do?” You have a short amount of time to answer that question before the doors open and the person steps out. It’s important to know how to answer when you only have 60 seconds or less to introduce yourself. Most of us are shy and self-effacing about talking about our art. In fact, many of us don’t even say, “I’m an artist!” Instead we mumble something about playing around with paints in our spare time and apologetically say that we never spend as much time as we want to creating art. It’s important for the people we speak with to understand that we are artists who take our art seriously. They need to know something about what we do and what it means.


Gigi Rosenberg ( has compiled an outline of what should be included in an Elevator Speech for creative individuals. I encourage you to write a speech based on her components, to practice it, and to use it the next time someone says to you: “What do you do?” Here are the components that you need to address in your speech:


  1. Your Name- both first and last
  2. Your title-choose one or two: painter, artist, watercolorist, artist coach. When in doubt, just say “artist”.
  3. What do you make? If it isn’t clear from your title or if you need to add details, such as: mixed media abstract artist.
  4. Issues/themes/subjects- does your work address certain themes or subjects? Add them here.
  5. Medium- if you haven’t mentioned it yet, add it here.
  6. Title of project - give your project a title. It may change but giving a name to what you are creating helps your audience grasp it.
  7. Process-if you have a process that is unique, this will make you stand out and your audience will remember you.
  8. Specialty – do you do something few or no others do? Maybe it’s portraits of pets or Nevada scenes. Add your specialty to your speech.
  9. What’s unique? Of all the watercolor artists in the world, what makes your work unique? Maybe it’s your brush strokes or the surface you work on. Mention it here.
  10. Audience. If you have an audience in mind, who are they exactly?
  11. Accolades. Have you won awards, been featured in an art book. This is where you can establish your level of expertise.
  12. Call to action. End your Elevator Speech with an invitation. This could be an invite to an opening, to your website, to follow you on social media or to sign up for your mailing list.


Remember, all this needs to be condensed into 60 seconds.


Here’s my Elevator Speech:


“Hi, I’m Tricia Poulos Leonard. I’m an artist and creativity coach. I create mixed media paintings using watercolor, acrylic, collage and other materials. I also coach other artists to reach their creative potentials. My current show is at Artsy Fartsy Gallery in Carson City and is called “An Artist’s View, Postcards from the Universe.” I am unique in using Yupo, a plastic surface, to paint on. I love working in an abstract style, but I can make art is a variety of styles and sometimes return to an impressionist approach. I have won national, regional and local awards. Currently, I was honored to have one of my pieces included in AcrylicWorks 5, a book featuring artists that use values in their work. I’d love for you to visit my website: to see and learn more about my work. Here’s my business card with my email address and web address. Hope to see you at the galleries in which I show!


That takes me exactly 60 minutes to deliver.


I challenge you to create your own Elevator Speech. Practice it and the next time someone asks you: “What do you do?” you will be prepared to answer articulately!

Creativity Lesson